As a parent, you may feel helpless when your teen is struggling with addiction. Finding the right resources and knowledgeable people to speak to can empower you and point your teen to the right path to recovery.
The following resources are trusted and reliable with long-standing programs. As always if you find yourself in a crisis situation it is best to call emergency services right away.
National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Under the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a federal government agency,
NIDA provides information on substance abuse for teens and parents, including:
- Prevention, treatment, and educational resources with useful videos featuring parents of addicted teens discussing drug addiction with the NIDA director and links to resources such as a parent action tool kit.
- Drug abuse treatment information, including a page on what to do if your teen has a drug problem. It offers answers to an extensive list of questions such as how to start the process of getting your child help, what to look for in an addiction treatment center, and questions to ask when choosing a center.
- Scientific facts on drugs, including drug facts written specifically for teens.
- Information pages on abuse, addiction, and treatment written to be read aloud, which is extremely helpful when you’re struggling for the right words to communicate with your teen.
Most people are familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, which offers a 12-step program to help people at any stage in the recovery process from alcoholism. Founded in 1935, AA offers support to alcoholics, including teens.
- Meetings are available for alcoholics and family members affected by alcoholism, such as siblings and parents.
- Teens may use AA as a follow-up or in conjunction with a formalized treatment plan at an outpatient or inpatient treatment center.
- Online AA chat rooms offer immediate help and connections to others struggling with addiction.
- Find pamphlets and videos online aimed at young people like “A Group of People Just Like Me,” in which teens tell their stories of how they started abusing alcohol.
You may be so overwhelmed with your child’s addiction that you just want to talk to someone. Helplines differ from hotlines in that they don’t deal with crisis situations. The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service helpline is 1-800-662-HELP.
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Parents of addicted teens can find help through this organization that provides free and confidential services.
- Counselors listen to your story and suggest a course of action for you, including tools and resources.
- Visit their website at drugfree.org or call 866-303-7992. Check the site for hours of availability.
- Not comfortable making a phone call but still want to connect with someone one-on-one? Try the live chat on their website.
- Talk to a parent volunteer who’s experienced dealing with a child’s substance addiction.
- Check out the parent blogs to read about other families’ experiences.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA, is a national government agency that also provides free and confidential services.
- Receive help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Obtain referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
- Order or download brochures or other helpful information.
It’s difficult for parents when a teenager suffers from addiction. Finding dependable resources for the help your child needs just may save a life.